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March 10, 2022

Gas Leak Guide

Everyday Plumbing Sydney

If you have ever wondered if gas leaks are dangerous the short answer is yes. Gas leaks can change the amount of oxygen that you are able to breathe. Due to its high density, it can actually push oxygen out of a room. As you breathe you will start to experience telltale symptoms that your body is lacking oxygen. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches - These come from a lack of oxygen to the brain and an increased dose of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
  • Dizziness - This too can come from a lack of oxygen to the brain which causes you to feel dizzy and unsteady
  • Nausea - Due to feeling dizzy you can also experience nausea from a lack of oxygen in your system
  • Eye and Throat Irritation - Due to you breathing in a foreign substance not meant for breathing and soaking in LPG in the tear ducts of your eyes this can cause your throat and eyes to be highly irritated
  • Fatigue - The body will shut down when there is a lack of oxygen. This is your bodies way of controlling your breathing.
  • Breathing problems - As you are breathing a substance that isn't meant to be breathed in you will have difficulty in breathing

Due to gas being heavier than air you will normally see gas leak symptoms in your pets first before experiencing them yourself.

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How to check for a gas leak

Natural gas actually has no smell what so ever. The only way you would know you were breathing it in, would be if you experienced some of the symptoms listed above. Thankfully gas companies add a chemical called Ethyl Mercaptan when bottling up the gas. Ethyl Mercaptan has a very particular smell similar to rotten eggs. This is added to help you identify a gas leak with your nose. While LPG is harmful if ingested Ethyl Mercaptan is harmless to the human body.

Top 5 Tell Tales of a Gas Leak

Please Note: If you experience any of the following, evacuate the area immediately and call a licenced gas fitter
  • Smell sulphur or rotten eggs
  • Hear a whistling or hissing sound from or near a gas line
  • See a damaged connection to a gas line
  • See a white cloud, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust
  • See plants dying or dead for no reason
  • See pets or local animals getting sick or deteriorating rapidly.

A good rule of thumb is: If in doubt, get a plumber out.

What to do when you find a gas leak

One of the easiest things to do is get as much oxygen into the room as possible. Open any closed windows and doors, if possible try to turn off the gas from the source then vacate the area. Call your local gas fitter or recommended plumber from your real estate.

What NOT to do when you find a gas leak

  • Turn lights on or off - This can cause a spark behind the light switch which can ignite a fire
  • Use appliances that have sources of ignition - Lots of household appliances will cause a spark and that is all gas needs to become a flame
  • Keep doors closed - This is counterproductive as you want to flood the area with oxygen not trap in the gas
  • Attempt to fix the leak - Leave this to professionals, there is a reason why you have to be licenced to be a gas fitter
  • Make phone calls from inside - Once you have located the leak you want to be far away from it when you are calling for assistance
  • Think someone else will report the leak for you - You can only be sure that a gas fitter has been called if you have called them yourself

After the gas leak

Let the gas fitter locate and fix the infected area. It is recommended that even after the gas fitter has fixed your gas leak, you allow your house to air out for a few hours prior to returning inside. It is also probably a good idea to have the gas fitter check out the gas lines throughout the whole house whilst he or she is there so you don't wake up the next day with the same problem from another gas source.

Conclusion

Whilst small exposure to low levels of gas isn't too harmful, long-term exposure can really affect you and your families health and wellbeing.

If you feel like you have a gas leak, don't wait until it's too late. Call a licenced gas fitter today. When it comes to health, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Contact us today.

If you have a serious plumbing, blocked drain or hot water problem, don't wait until its too late.

0488 801 008

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